Training in a Downturn – Luxury or Lifeline?

CIPD research recently revealed organisations have cut training budgets by an average of 52 per cent. And this at a time when many employees will jump ship if they get a better offer elsewhere. Therein lies the rub; no business with aspirations to grow can afford to lose good staff, nor can it afford to invest heavily in training.

Let’s be honest, directors know how important training is, they just don’t have the funds to do it without putting short-term plans in jeopardy. If ever pragmatism were the order of the day, it is now. There are three ways you can trim training spend, keep your team happy and stay on course for growth.

- Don’t assume only ‘trainers’ can train. ‘Multi-skilling’ is the business buzzword of the noughties and managers are now expected to train their own teams. Chances are there is experience within your business that you haven’t tapped into. If not, it’s a good idea to invest in a training kit to help managers train more effectively.

- Rethink your training agenda. Much as you’d like your people to be up-to-speed on everything from time management to team building, you need to work out which skills gaps are getting in the way of business growth. Ask yourself which new skills would have a ripple effect throughout the ranks and deliver the best value and results. Usually, and the CIPD agrees with me here, there are three main areas: Ieadership, performance management and dealing with change. Prioritising these three areas will generate the best returns, that is, better job satisfaction, productivity and improved morale.

- Manage the message. When tightening your belt, the best way to get people’s buy-in is to involve them. Be clear about which areas of training you’re prioritising and why. But be sensitive. Don’t say “we’re cutting training”. Explain you’re investing in a long-term plan to create a more inspiring business, and you want them to be a part of it.

Best wishes on your business growth journey, wherever it may take you.

John Stein – Founder of the winning formula.

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This entry was posted on Friday, January 13th, 2012 at 12:11 pm and is filed under CIPD, The Role of the Consultant/Coach. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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